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SEO News: Google Targets Hacked Spam

Matt Brady
#Industry Insights, #SEO
Published on October 8, 2015

We look at the news about Google's latest update to their search algorithm and how it might affect your website.

With the speed that things change in the modern, always-online world, it can be difficult for any website owner to keep up with the latest issues that affect how people find them in online searches. The world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a complicated one, and following the latest news about things like algorithm changes, mobile search, and any other new issues that arise can be difficult. That’s why we do our best to stay up to date on these issues and keep you informed about what they mean for you.

The latest news in the SEO world has to do with what Google calls “hacked spam”, which they’ve recently updated their algorithm to target. Let’s look at what this means for you:

What is Hacked Spam?

Hackers are a constant problem for website owners. They are constantly working to exploit any security vulnerabilities that they find on any website, and this has resulted in many legitimate websites being compromised. These websites may not appear to have anything wrong, but hackers have placed malicious code on the sites which exposes their users to malware, causes them to participate in attacks on other websites, or engages in other types of unwanted activity, such as promoting traffic to pornographic websites or marketing counterfeit goods.

Google’s new update has begun to “aggressively” target any sites which have been compromised and remove them from search results. This affects around 5% of search queries, but Google notes that such a large amount of hacked spam has been removed from search results that some results pages may list fewer than the standard 10 search results.

How Will This Affect Me?

If your site has been hacked, you will likely see a decrease in traffic from organic search, so you’ll want to do everything you can to remove any malicious code from your site. Google has a help center for hacked sites that can help you determine whether you have any issues on your site and walk you through how to resolve them.

In order to keep your site from being compromised, make sure you are following best practices for website security, including implementing HTTPS. As we can see from this latest change, security is not only essential for ensuring that you are providing the best experience for your site’s users, but it can also affect whether people are able to find and access your site in the first place.

Do you have any questions about how to combat hackers and keep your site spam-free? Do you need help removing malicious code from your site and/or making sure it is safe from future attacks? Please contact us to speak with a Solutions Engineer, and we’ll help you resolve any current issues, protect you from the dark side of the web, and make sure nothing stands in the way of reaching the audience you deserve.